Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Hunting sunken treasures

The first comment I got when I shouted “Wow! This is just great!” was along the lines of “Sounds like the sort of junk Clive Cussler writes.”
Talk about feeling alienated.
But let’s proceed with order.

1111bigOne of the few perks of living smack in the middle of Southern Piedmont is, in two hours I can be on the Cote d’Azure.
The sun, the sea, acres and acres of nubile, scantly clad young women stretching on the beaches…
And I normally end up in some antiquarian bookstore.
They even publish (or used to) a map of antiquarian bookshops in the Nice area.

So a few years back I was browsing the stalls of one such small Alladin caves of librarian wonder, and I caught me the three volumes of the Born Free series, first edition, and to round up the bill, I threw in a weird little book called Treasure Diving Holidays, by Jane and Barney Crile.
The book – a 1954 first edition – once bought and brought home, was placed on a high shelf together with other sea-oriented books, and soon forgotten.
Which is all right – I’m quite convinced books should be read at the right moment, so sometimes forgetting them on a high shelf is just what’s needed.
Then, when the time comes… I need some color and information for some seafaring stories I’m planning, and I go and rediscover this hidden gem.

What’s it all about? Continue reading


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Rosita Forbes

We breathed the same air for one month.

NPG x16614; (Joan) Rosita Forbes (Mrs Arthur T. McGrath) by Howard CosterIf it has to start somewhere, my personal gallery of travellers, explorers, adventurers and assorted daredevils, it has to start with Rosita Forbes.

Joan Rosita “Sita” Forbes neé Torr, was born in England in 1890.
She owed that distinctively un-British name to a Spanish grandmother.
She left home at seventeen and married at twentyone – but the marriage did not last long.
She only kept the Forbes surname.
Now calling herself Rosita Forbes, she drove an ambulance during WWI.

Then, with a friend called Undine, she left London and travelled the world – thirty countries in thirteen months.
She wrote a book about it.
In Paris, she planned to cover the Peace Talks, as a jounalist, but the newspaper for which she worked sent her as a reporter in Casablanca.

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